Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, causing anxiety, dread and fear in every man who’s in a relationship. The challenge of buying the “right” gift can be daunting. I just saw an ad on TV yesterday that capitalized on this fact.

The commercial was for a teddy bear company. What was most interesting is that they spent almost no time talking about the bears themselves.

Nearly the entire commercial was devoted to the reaction the bear created in the recipient. The woman who received the bear was overjoyed, while the other women in her office were excited, impressed and even jealous.

The manufacturer and the ad agency clearly understand an important law of sales and marketing: What matters most is not the product itself, but the results it creates.

Men don’t know or care about teddy bears. We’re not interested in their construction, quality or variety. If you put a gun to our heads, we couldn’t tell you what makes one teddy bear better than another. All we care about is that when we give a gift to our wife or girlfriend, that’s the reaction we want to get.

That’s the promise the commercial made. And it’s similar to the promise you need to make to your prospects in your marketing and sales efforts. Tell them the results they can expect. Better yet, show them. Because that’s what they’re really buying.

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